No announcement yet.

OT - Transit of Venus: June 5–6, 2012

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT - Transit of Venus: June 5–6, 2012

    Transit of Venus: June 5–6, 2012

    Here's something to mark on your calendar...

    From the article...

    Important: You'll need to take careful precautions when attempting to view the transit. There are several good ways to do this safely. You can view through special "eclipse shades" (not regular sunglasses) or a dark rectangular arc-welder's glass (#13 or #14). Or, you can set up your telescope or even tripod-mounted binoculars to project the Sun's image onto a white card or other flat surface. Solar filters are also made to fit over the front of your telescope. Check out these safe-viewing options recommended by the editors of Sky & Telescope.

    Last edited by Mike Burdick; 04-15-2012, 11:40 PM.

  • #2
    I wouldn't use a pair of binoculars you care about to project a sun image. It's possible to crack the lenses in the eyepiece from the intense heat.

    It is also critical that it not be possible for anybody to be able to try to look through the telescope or other optical device that is used to project a sun image. The flux is high enough to instantly destroy the retina.

    Also, there are eyepiece filters that are sometimes provided with cheap "department store" telescopes that screw onto the inside of the eyepiece for direct solar viewing. DO NOT USE. They have been known to crack from heat with immediate eye damage.

    I built a solar telescope using a very long focal length 55mm macro lens that focuses the image on a ground glass screen. Before it gets to the screen it goes through a special beam splitter made from two right angle prisms that reduce the brightness by 99%. The screen image is then captured with a web cam and viewed on the computer. This makes it totally safe and of course easy to capture images.

    This is the dedicated solar scope. I haven't any interesting pictures as I built it in 2009 and the sun was dead quiet. I have sort of forgotten about it so I should set it up one of these days.

    This is a safe way to use a small aperture reflector. I made a mask to cover the front and it is bolted in place. There is an opening for a welding filter to allow a small area of filtered light through. It works very well.

    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


    • #3
      There are some do it yourself projects to create a Herschel Safety Wedge viewer for observing the sun safely. And Baader makes a simple direct observer that is pretty cool:


      • #4
        safe viewing

        This is the set-up I used in 2004:


        • #5
          I woke up early in the morning back in 2004 to see the last one - set up my small telescope with the filter that I use for sunspot viewing, and then waited for the overcast to disappear.

          The clouds finally moved on, but not until about five minutes after the transit was done.

          Maybe this time around I'll be luckier.


          • #6
            Here's a link to see it live right now
            Allan Ostling

            Phoenix, Arizona


            • #7
              I can cross that off my bucket list.

              Went out in the yard with my welding helmet. The filter wasn't dense enough, so I added my o/a goggles. Just right. Visible to the (heavily filtered) naked eye. Looked only long enough to say I saw it with my own eyes. Better view on the Internet.
              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


              • #8
                Ugh... my quickie "camera obscura" version is pretty fuzzy compared to that....., but I had to open up the pinhole because the "obscura" part wasn't dark enough.

                Pic is upside down and backwards.... about 5:30 CST. You can just see the fuzzy dot at LOWER LEFT, not upper right due to reversal.


                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                • #9
                  Yesterday's paper said it would start here at 5:05 pm local. I'd forgotten about it today until I saw it mentioned on the Wx Channel about 6:10L, at which time I grabbed a welding shield and found it at about the 1 o'clock position.

                  Watched off and on for about 45 minutes and could not discern any significant movement during that time.

                  How long does it take to make the complete transit?
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                  • #10
                    Here's another site to view the transit on...



                    • #11
                      No chance here at all. The entire province was blanketed by cloud. I'll just have to wait for the next one...
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                      • #12
                        If anyone hasn't seen this and is still interested, here's a NASA video of it.

                        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


                        • #13
                          Dang, you would not want to step across that thing in bare feet! For me, the transit of venus across the sun was incidental- the writhings of the sun in all the different views was interesting.
                          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                          • #14
                            Some kind person set up a telescope with a filter on the street and let passerbys look at the transit of venus. He got kind of worked up when I asked if those were sun spots or dirt on his lens.


                            • #15
                              I looked through a double layer of welding glass #12 & #5 shades and it was just right. Very easy to see. Also laid the same pieces of glass over the lens of my old Sony FD87 1.3 megapixel floppy disc camera and took some pics. Even at max zoom it's hard to see. Best view was looking straight through welding glass.